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IEPI study: Illinois public sector union membership has declined since Janus decision

Thursday, Sep 10, 2020

* From the Illinois Economic Policy Institute

Preliminary data suggests that the June 2018 Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, et al. Supreme Court decision that allowed state and local government employees to “free ride” may have affected public sector union membership.

    • In Illinois, total public sector union membership has fallen by 6.8 percent since 2017, the year before the Supreme Court decision.

    • Still, nearly half of all public sector workers are unionized in both Illinois (45.8 percent) and the Chicago metro area (45.4 percent), exceeding the national public sector average (33.6 percent).

- Posted by Rich Miller        

16 Comments »
  1. - Karen - Thursday, Sep 10, 20 @ 1:40 pm:

    That was the goal. Follow up mailings by the Illinois Policy Institute urging members to drop has happened periodically. They won’t be happy until it really is 1900 again.


  2. - Cubs in '16 - Thursday, Sep 10, 20 @ 1:49 pm:

    In other words, 6.8% of previously dues paying public sector employees are now grifters. Good to know.


  3. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Sep 10, 20 @ 1:56 pm:

    So much for the “mortal blow” to public employee unions. Janus won’t eradicate public employee unions and it won’t change the political dynamic in Illinois and probably everywhere else.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 10, 20 @ 2:03 pm:

    It’s a lil weird to cheer that folks would choose not to have someone looking out for the greater good of labor, but that’s the Raunerism that needs apologizing.

    The ole GOP was with trade labor many times, teachers too…

    It is ironic that police unions, for example, are good for Raunerite types but but other labor groups, public or trade.

    I do love it’s still “Janus”… no mention of Rauner… heh.


  5. - City Zen - Thursday, Sep 10, 20 @ 2:09 pm:

    There’s that phrase again: “free ride”

    It’s called exclusive bargaining rights. If the unions don’t want to represent the free riders, they can give up their monopoly on representation. That the unions would rather absorb the cost of these “free riders” rather than relinquish their monopoly on representation should tell you all you need to know how valuable that monopoly is to them.


  6. - Muddy trail - Thursday, Sep 10, 20 @ 2:12 pm:

    How many of the 6.8% were paying fair share fees before?


  7. - Jocko - Thursday, Sep 10, 20 @ 2:19 pm:

    ==OW @2:03 pm==
    I guess “Rauner’s shill” didn’t have a good ring to it./S

    Anyone else enjoy the irony of Mark’s last name being synonymous with two-faced?


  8. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Sep 10, 20 @ 2:26 pm:

    I’ve got a friend who started working for the state in March, wants to join the union but can’t. AFSCME isn’t sending anyone out to sign people up. So newer employees are sitting around waiting to give money to people that won’t come and get it.


  9. - City Zen - Thursday, Sep 10, 20 @ 2:27 pm:

    ==I do love it’s still “Janus”… no mention of Rauner==

    Why would it? The previous fair share case was called Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, named after the school teacher who petitioned the court.


  10. - thoughts matter - Thursday, Sep 10, 20 @ 2:49 pm:

    Before I can actually decide my opinion on the 6.8% decline in union membership, I need a question answered. What is the change in number of filled positions that qualify for union membership? In other words, are we talking the same number of possible union employees or fewer? 6.8% decline in membership doesn’t mean as much if the number of filled qualifying positions also declined.


  11. - Captain Obvious - Thursday, Sep 10, 20 @ 3:03 pm:

    At my work facility, there is no AFSCME steward. I emailed the union’s general email to find out if I could file a grievance for a particular issue and if so, how to go about doing so. Did get a response the next day saying my email was forwarded to the local president but she was out for a few days but would get back to me. Been a week and a half and so far, no response. Hard to fathom why anyone would pay $700 a year for such poor service.


  12. - Honeybear - Thursday, Sep 10, 20 @ 3:09 pm:

    Captain Obvious, Local AFSCME officials and stewards are volunteers. They’ve got busy lives too. That being said, I’m sorry no one has gotten back to you.


  13. - Honeybear - Thursday, Sep 10, 20 @ 3:14 pm:

    Rich, I don’t know how this was calculated but was there a decline in workforce that would have caused this? Just wondering


  14. - JS Mill - Thursday, Sep 10, 20 @ 4:25 pm:

    =they can give up their monopoly on representation.=

    Yes and no. Yes if they no longer want to represent their membership which is essentially putting them out of business. Otherwise no they cannot. If they want to be a union and do what unions do they have to allow the free riders.


  15. - Ashland Adam - Thursday, Sep 10, 20 @ 8:34 pm:

    Captain Obvious -

    No union steward? Why don’t you volunteer to do it? Get a copy of the contract. Attend stewards’ meetings, join internal Afscme committees, listen to your members. Speak up on their behalf.


  16. - R A T - Friday, Sep 11, 20 @ 11:01 am:

    Thoughts matter, I agree. I think employment is down so is that affecting the number of dues payers?
    Either way, that 6.8% is much smaller than the goal of the lawsuit. Some were predicting as much as 50%


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